I can see this as an interesting supplement to libraries in the future (?)
Anyway - after appearing at The London Book Fair, the service now got launched - see The Guardian article.
Revolutionary Espresso Book Machine launches in London
Launching in London today, the Espresso Book Machine can print any of 500,000 titles while you wait
The whole approach to paper seems a good idea - just look at the selective PDF versions of the news and topical subjects that The Guardian offers as downloads you could print for yourself. See Guardian 24.
And, of course, I should mention the P.O.D. self-publishing market - most famously Lulu, but there are many others (Amazon apparently insists that if you want your book listed with them you have to use their Booksurge product). Why print books that will only get pulped? That doesn't mean we get rid of books and paper completely, just be a bit more selective and frugal about printing out...
I have been experimenting with Lulu
- to understand the process
- to make hard copies (or free downloads as PDFs) available of my experiments in high-speed writing - with the NaNoWriMo challenge to write a book in a month
- to offer copies of any other material I find interesting (family and friends' unpublished works).
- See my Lulu store front, here - not vanity, just 'learning by doing'.
And as you can make single copies, or short runs, you might find more innovative uses for Lulu - like this guy who wanted to compile some online articles (reading on a screen can be tiring) so made up a simple paper book for himself. His original post with more detail.
Instapaper - saving interesting online articles to read later.
The Self Publishing Review on creating your own self-publishing imprint...You Write On A.C.E. initiative.
MidLife Writer blog